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By Rachael Bentley
After realizing that this would be the last column or article I will ever write for this publication, it was difficult not to cry alone in my office. I’ve never been much of a public weeper, nor is it a pleasant thing to be witness to, so I decided to spare my staff.
I have written for The Recorder for the entirety of my college experience. It was the first extra-curricular group I decided to get involved with, thanks to the encouragement of many peers throughout my department, and to this day has been the only thing I have really stuck with for more than a year or two.
I was surprised with myself for getting sucked in so quickly with the hustle and bustle of the office during a Monday night. Something about cramming 10+ people in an office the size of a storage pod struck a cord with me. Watching editors surround a computer screen and squabbling about layout options, made me realize that this is something I could grow to love. And boy, did I.
As is customary in most farewell columns, a great many thanks are in order. First, and foremost, I must thank the one person that encouraged me to get involved in the first place: the brilliant Brittany Burke. She sat next to me during my first phone interview, was always willing to listen to my problems and lend me guidance and has been one of my biggest advocates over the years. I’m both humbled and proud to call you my best friend.
I’d also like to extend my thanks to the entire Recorder staff that I currently work with, for being generally wonderful people and so easy to love. Anyone who spends any time in the Recorder office knows that I am here more than my own home, so I’ve come to think of them all as my second family. I know that in the real world, getting along with everyone on your staff is nearly impossible, so I understand what a precious gift it has been to work with you all. And I will always look at my time with you guys as such.
There are many who look upon our “Recorder gang” with turned up noses and say that we are too “clique-y,” but I can’t help but be offended and a little surprised when I hear people speak about us that way. When you spend as much time as I have with a small group of people, you are going to develop relationships, inside jokes and a general sense of camaraderie. I have yet to see someone be shunned or turned away from joining our group and I hope that many more people gain the same wonderful experience in the future.
I know that in years to come, when I reflect back on my time spent at Central, I will most appreciate the friendships and experiences I gained working for this publication. I’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons, both professional and personal, but the most important will always ring true for me: never let the disparaging words or opinions of others get in the way of your dreams.
My journey with the Recorder hasn’t been a completely smooth one, but the bumps and bruises I’ve gained along the way make the ride all the more meaningful. So, as I pack up my desk and lock my office door behind me one last time, I’ll have to remind myself that the majority of what I have learned about journalism has come from my experiences with the Recorder and that I’m a better journalist for it.